Seth Moulton

At the Races: The Ghost of Midterms Past
Our weekly newsletter on congressional campaigns

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Welcome to At the Races! You can keep track of House and Senate races with this weekly newsletter. We want to hear what you think. Email us at attheraces@cqrollcall.com with your questions, tips or candidate sightings. — Simone Pathé and Bridget Bowman.

This week … Some Republicans started worrying about retirements, Mainers have been recounting ballots faster than expected, and one Pelosi rebel faced a primary threat.

House Primaries on the Horizon for Democrats in 2020
Illinois’ Dan Lipinski is most likely to face intraparty challenge

Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Ill., narrowly beat back a primary challenge earlier this year. He’s unlikely to go unchallenged in the next cycle, Gonzales writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

We already know the Democratic presidential primary is going to be crowded and crazy as a few dozen candidates battle for the right to take on President Donald Trump.

But at least a handful of 2020 House primaries are also on the horizon for Democrats as the party fights over ideology and loyalty. And there’s still plenty of time for more intraparty races to take shape.

Pelosi Agrees to Deal Limiting Her Speakership to 4 Years
Caucus may not formally adopt leadership term limits but Pelosi agrees to hold herself to a maximum of two more terms

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has agreed to limit her pending speakership to a maximum of two more terms to win the support of five members who otherwise opposed her bid.(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 11:21 p.m.Nancy Pelosi is doing exactly what she said she wouldn’t in order to secure the votes she needs to be elected speaker — putting an end date on her tenure as the top House Democratic leader. 

Under an agreement reached with seven Democrats who opposed her speaker bid, Pelosi will back term limits for the top three Democratic leaders. The limit she has agreed to will prevent her from serving as speaker beyond another four years. 

Term Limits Talks Roil House Democrats
Talk of compromise on matter comes amid consternation

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has been involved in talks with a few Democratic opponents to her speaker bid about term limits on party leaders and committee chairs, an idea opposed by many in her caucus. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats are at odds over whether to adopt intraparty term limits for their elected leaders and committee chairs, even as it offers them a way out of their current impasse on the race for the speakership.

The House Democratic Caucus has long wrestled with the idea of term limits. House Republicans adopted a rule in 1995 to limit committee chairs to serving three terms. Democrats kept that rule in place when they took the majority in 2007 but then decided two years later to get rid of it.

Pelosi Opponent Moulton Stares Down Potential Primary Challenge
Massachusetts state senator mulls opposing him in 2020

Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., has antagonized some progressive groups with his opposition to Nancy Pelosi’s bid for speaker. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton positioned himself as a chief antagonist to Nancy Pelosi when he joined with other Democrats to oppose her bid to reclaim the speaker’s gavel — rankling party leadership and progressive organizations.

But Moulton might soon be facing down a different kind of political rival: a primary opponent.

Pelosi Not Interested in Compromising on Succession Plan for Her Speakership
Speaker hopeful says her opponents shouldn’t get to dictate when she retires

From left, Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., talk after the incoming House Democratic leadership team posed for a group photo in the Rayburn Room in the Capitol on Friday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said Friday she doesn’t see a way in which she’d compromise with the group of members who oppose her speaker bid unless she specifies a clear succession plan. 

“Between saying when I’m going to retire or not? I don’t think so,” the California Democrat said when asked whether there is a middle ground to be found on the question of when she will relinquish the speaker’s gavel if members vote Jan. 3 to give it to her again. 

Can You Run for Congress and President? Depends Where
Politicians being considered for president in 2020 face diverging state laws on current positions

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., left, is receiving 2020 presidential attention but will also be up for re-election for his Senate seat. California Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris is also finding her name in 2020 presidency conversations but her Senate term doesn’t expire until 2022. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat, signed a law this month clarifying that a candidate for one of the state’s U.S. Senate or House seats can also run in presidential primaries.

Locals nicknamed it Cory’s Law, a cheeky acknowledgment that Sen. Cory Booker is up for re-election in 2020 and is also expected to launch a bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Sweet Smell of Succession, House Democrats Edition
The upward mobility of people who played the leadership game

From left, Rep.-elect Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, Reps. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., and Joyce Beatty, D-Ohio, arrive Thursday for the House Democrats’ leadership elections in the Longworth Building. Bustos went on to win the race for Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chair. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

For those House Democrats frustrated that Nancy Pelosi won’t provide them (Seth Moulton, Kathleen Rice, Tim Ryan) with a succession plan that entails her leaving and someone, anyone else taking over, consider — wait for it — this week’s House Democratic Caucus leadership elections

Let’s back up for a second. 

House Democrats Settle on Top Leaders, but Fight Over Speakership Remains
Pelosi gets overwhelming numbers for speaker bid

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., leaves the CVC Auditorium during a break in the House Democrats’ organizational caucus meetings on Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats decided on their top leaders Wednesday — all except the highest-ranking one. Nancy Pelosi overwhelmingly secured the caucus’s nomination for speaker, but a sizable group of opponents appears determined to keep the California Democrat from officially claiming the gavel on Jan. 3. 

Pelosi got 203 votes on the caucus ballot, but her allies believe that’s far lower than what she can earn on the floor. There were 32 “no” votes and three blanks. New York Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, who is supporting Pelosi, was absent. 

Steny Hoyer Elected House Majority Leader
Maryland Democrat ran unopposed with 184 Democrats signed onto a letter supporting him

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., center, shakes hands with Rep. Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y., as they leave the CVC Auditorium during a break in the House Democrats’ leadership elections Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018. Hoyer was elected majority leader that afternoon. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Maryland Democratic Rep. Steny Hoyer is returning to his old post of House majority leader next year after the Democratic Caucus on Wednesday elected him to the post by acclamation. 

Hoyer, Democrats’ longtime No. 2 leader and current minority leader, last held the majority leader title when Democrats were last in the majority from 2007 through 2010.